Wellwood hopes to catch fire

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:37 AM ET

The Maple Leafs could not properly motivate Kyle Wellwood, now it's the Vancouver Canucks' turn.

Vancouver claimed the 25-year-old centre on waivers yesterday, after his worst season as a Leaf, 21 points in 59 games, with two groin surgeries and a benching slowing his progress.

"After my first surgery (in 2006-07) I was playing full time after five weeks," Wellwood said. "I ended up re-hurting it and I never recovered over the summer.

"On my part I didn't communicate enough with the Leafs how I was feeling. I didn't do well re-habbing it and training hard enough."

Wellwood also broke his right foot earlier this month, but should be ready for training camp. He's a restricted free agent, but the Canucks will qualify last year's $950,000 US salary to retain his rights.

"I don't think I have anything to prove to the Leafs," Wellwood said. "They've seen me play and I played well for them at some points. I definitely have something to prove to the Canucks and to myself.

"I think (the Leafs) are going in a different direction, looking for different types of players. I'm just hoping I can come in and play like a top-six forward."


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